“ Brand: Iams / Animals Equipment Type: Cat Health „
Recently my cat Layla hasn't been her usual lively self, seeming a bit under the weather, without going into too much details one thought I had was she may have fur balls, being rather a fluffy cat who hates being brushed it certainly was possible. I remembered seeing special food for cats which helps with this particular problem, so off I went to Tesco in search for something suitable, scouring the shelves the only brand that my Tesco sold in the furball' version was Iams crunchies, I used to give my other 2 cats this when they were little so I knew it was a reasonably good brand so thought I would give it a try. Layla loves her food so was sure she would probably be pleased with her new cruncihes.
The Iams crunchies came in a bright orange plastic type bag really making it stand out on the shelf, in the middle of the bag is a large picture of a black and white cat with the word Iams written in white length ways down the bag and a white paw print above it. Across the bottom part of the bag is a large green band which goes the width of the bag, this has the words Adult Hairball 1+ years written in black writing and just under this still within the green band Proactive Nutrition, Succulent Roast Chicken, this is written in white lettering. Right at the bottom of the bag written in small white writing are various facts about the product these include "with select natural ingredients", "no added artificial preservatives", "no added artificial colours" and "no added artificial flavours". The back of the bag contains a lot of information about the product which can appear a little overwhelming at first, the main areas of information consist of a a list of the 4 main food groups contained in the crunchies illustrated with pictures, a feeding guide and a list of features this product helps your cat to achieve, these I will describe later. All of the information is written in black and very clear to read, most areas of information are also written in both English and a second language.
The 4 main food groups contained within the Iams Hairball crunchies are
Fats & Oils -Fish oils
cereals & Fibre - Grains and Beet fibres
Vitamins & Minerals - Select vitamins and minerals
Protein - High Quality chicken
All of these are illustrated with both words and pictures.
Iams Hairball Proactive nutrition help to promote the following in your cat
*strong Immune System
These are also demonstrated by both words and a small symbol, these symbols are repeated on the front of the bag, the back acts almost as a key to these symbols on the front of the bag.
The crunchies themselves look basically the same as regular crunchies, they are brown in colour and are made into small rough ball shapes, although they are for hairball control they look no different to Layla's regular crunchies, when I opened the bag I couldn't help having a little smell of them, now they are supposed to be chicken flavoured but to me they certainly did not resemble the smell of chicken at all, if anything they smelt a little bland and not appetising at all, but then again I am vegetarian and I'm not a cat so I cannot really comment on whether they smell nice or not. I poured a small amount into Layla's bowl ready for her to try, the first time she had them she seemed pleased with them and tucked into them so I was quite hopeful that she would eat them and that it would help with furball problems. However this hope was short lived, at the next meal time I gave Layla another small amount of the crunchies which she sniffed and walked away from, now Layla does love to have both meat and crunchies, and I had only given her the new Iams crunchies so thought this could be the problem, adding a little bit of meat to the Iams I picked her up adn placed her in front of her bowl, at which point she looked at me as if to say I'm not eating that' and again walked off. I persisted with the Iams for a little while thinking if she's really hungry she will eat them. But having cats all my life I should have known better, they will not eat it if they are hungry because they know that if they meow enough and rub around your legs every time you move you will eventually give in and throw away a perfectly good bowl full of food and give them something else to try. Which I have to say after a few hours of a very persistent cat I did and she was back on her regular crunchies and meat.
I was disappointed that she had not liked the Iams Hairball crunchies so I decided to try another approach, using them as treats, if she didn't see me get them out of the bag she might think they are new and exciting treats. Again I was wrong, she wasn't that stupid, I offered her a few in my hand as I do with her treats, again she sniffed them looked at me and walked off, parking herself right in front of the kitchen work surface where her treats are kept in her very own treat jar, again I gave in and she was given her regular treats. So all in all Layla was less than impressed with her Iams Hairball crunchies and no amount of disguising them or persuading was going to make her eat them, to me they didn't smell particularly nice and Layla this, I'm sure she had a look of disgust on her face as she walked away from them.
One of the reasons was disappointed that Layla did not like her new Iams was the cost, I brought a 1kg bag as this was the only size they did and it cost me £5.00, now I am prepared to spend anything on all of my cats, if any of them need anything I will pay for it, but £5 for a small bag of crunchies is a lot to pay out especially when they will not eat them. I haven't even tried them on Poppy and Daisy my older cats, as they went off Iams a few years ago, even though its the brand they had as kittens. Had Layla eaten the crunchies and had they had worked with preventing hairballs I would have been more than happy to pay £5 for them, but I have wasted my money on these.
Feeding Guide (if your cat will eat them)
2kg cat - 25 - 35g
3kg cat - 40 - 55g
4kg cat - 50 - 70g
5kg cat - 65 - 90g
6kg cat - 75 - 110g
7kg cat - 90 - 125g
Now this is only a rough guide, all cats are different, personally I do not weigh any of my cats food, I just put an amount in their bowl, if they want any more they can have it, or if they don't eat it all, its there for later when they do fancy it. None of my girls have set meal times, which is why I tend not to stick to the feeding guide on the back of packets, none of them are over weight, and for us allowing them to have a little bit of food as and when they want works best.
In conclusion, the Iams Hairball Proactive Nutrition were a bit of a disaster, I cannot comment on whether they work on preventing hairballs as Layla would not even eat them, personally I think the crunchies come across as a bit on the bland side, and I think Layla thought the same, there was no way she was going to eat them. Now this is just one cats opinion on them, they may well be a very good brand of pet food, but its just not the brand for Layla, this particular version of Iams contain 30% chicken and all the vitamins and minerals to support the 7 signs of a healthy cat (which I listed previously) I cant recommend them as my cat wouldn't eat them long enough to see if they worked, and Layla is back on her regular food and very happy about it.
We ended up using this product by mistake, when I picked up the first Iams orange bag I saw and hurried off to finish the shopping but now I buy it quite often.
Our cat is long haired and I always worry that she'll have problems with hair balls. We brush her loads, but no matter where she sits even if it's just for 5 minutes, there is a cat shape left behind in fluff so I'm quite sure that during her self grooming sessions she must swallow some of it.
She gets 3 meals a day (her daily recommended amount divided by 3) and seems to enjoy it.
The biscuits are little round balls, and compared to other Iams cat food it looks like she is getting more in her bowl.
Be careful if you buy a big bag as the biscuits do dry out quite quickly if they are left open. We decant some into a 'cat proof' jar and then use a seal thing to close the bag.
Iams is quite expensive, but as we don't feed her wet food we wanted to make sure she was getting the best possible nutrition and both her breeder and some friends recommended it.
It is also available in most supermarkets, unlike some of the other 'more expensive' brands of pet food, making it easy to get hold of if you are not the most organised person.
Iams Hairball Care helps reduce the risk of hairball formation with a patent-pending fiber system that gently moves trapped hair through the digestive tract.